quick work, price, and customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NateinAtl, Feb 11, 2000.

  1. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    Hard to believe me saying this, but Lawrence is right on the money. Chem Lawn does charge that and what he said about the rental is correct too. Try to figure what it would cost them with their time, money and the hassle of picking up such a sizeable machine in their Bimmers and Suv's. Not to mention the little white collar guys manuvering this machine would be worth watching. Once they see what this process entails, they shouldn't cry too much.
  2. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    Nate, I think we all have or had customers like this. It seems the more well off they are the less they think you should have. I have found that working people are less likely to go into shock over prices. LOL <p>Some of these older wealthy people have been screwing people for years to save a buck. And the amazing thing is they think you are screwing them. They say &quot;the little neighbor kid would mow my yard for $20 and he spent 6 hours doin it. And now you want $50 and you're here an hour&quot; :)<p>
  3. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 585

    NateinAtl<p>We all some time or an other have worked for total jerks like that.I have had my fare share.In you case if that same thing ever happened agian I would try to reason for a short time and if thay still could not get it through their thick head just walk away.The reason I say this is becouse this person is A: not regular client and B: do you really want this client in the future?In most cases you have to do what ever it takes to calm down your client.But in that case this lady's best freind(bud light)probably told her you did not do a good job.Some people seem very nice when you first work for them,but in no time they turn into this lady.If you work for someone who acts like that right off the bat just think of what she is really like!I say in your case take the money and run!!!<p>from:Adam<br>AB Lawn Care
  4. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    You never mentioned in the original post that the check was already made out.<p>Absolutely first thing I do, if a customer is pre-pay or will leave money, is TAKE THE CHECK. This way it wont matter what the nag has to say, and if you get killed or something halfway thru the job at least your estate will have one less account to collect from.<p>Bill
  5. jeffclc

    jeffclc Guest
    Messages: 0

    I have had many thoughts and discussions on this very subject. Sometimes it seems as if we are being punished by purchasing the most efficent(expensive) equipment. <p>If you buy a faster, better, more efficent machine,(expensive) you are able to complete tasks much faster than with smaller, less efficent tools. In theory, you would have to charge a higher hourly rate to compensate for the added expense of the better tools.<p>I purchased one of the long reach hedge clippers, and have found that it really is a time saver. If a customer has a row of large hedges, there are 3 different ways that they can be trimmed; long reach clipper, standard clipper and ladder, and manual clippers and ladder. <p>Using a labor rate of $40/hour, it may take 3 hours to clip the hedges with the hand clippers and a ladder. Total cost $120. With the standard clippers and a ladder, it may take 2 hours. Total cost $80. With the long reach clippers, it may take only one hour for a cost of $40. These are only &quot;fun&quot; hourly rates, for the sake of discussion. I am using these numbers from an actual job I have done all 3 ways. It took me the said times with the said equipment.<p>Now, it seems like I am being punished by buying the fastest tool for the job. I don't think that anyone would balk at you charging $120 for 3 hours of work, you earned it fair and square. Now, for the same result, you could be finished in an hour, and I would be willing to bet that the same customer that didn't blink an eye at the $120 for the 3 hours work, would have a fit for being charged $120 for 1 hours work. Keep in mind that the result is the same, the hedge is trimmed. <p>It seems like with the better tools, you have to do more work to make the same money. Why buy the fastest then? Why not just use the old fashioned hand clippers, and everyone makes out, the customer doesn't feel cheated, you make your hourly rate, and you don't have a huge investment in tools, everyone wins.<p>I have thought of a few different ways of dealing with this. One id to price ALL jobs ahead of time, and stick to that price. Many of my customers don't even ask price anymore, and know that they will be treated fairly. If you prices every job ahead of time, then there could be no grounds for complaints, as in the origional post. <p>Another option would be to have a different rate for each type of tool that you have. Manual clippers, $40/hour, gas clippers, $80/hour, and long reach clippers, $120/hour. <br>This would be very time consuming to prepare a bid for a job, especially the smaller jobs. Go around and figure each time for each piece of equipment. I know that Phil Nilsson will disagree with me on this one, but is it worth the time to figure down to thi minute on the small one time jobs? I am talking the 3-4 hour jobs.<p>I guess what it all boils down to is what is the job worth? What does the customer feel is a fair price for the RESULT? If I contract someone to dig a ditch for me and they quote me $250, and I agree, do I have a right to complain if they use a backhoe and it takes them an hour to do? What if they show up with a pick and a shovel and it took them all day? <br> <p>
  6. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    Jeff,<br> that was an excellent post that I'm sure most would agree with. We have a larger competitor in town that has every conceivable mower , trucks and option you could possibly dream of. He can come in on an average lawn and perform a clean-up in about an hour with 3 guys, trac vacs, and truck leaf vacs. He charges about $175 for this one hour of work but he still gets complaints even though he has to pay 3 guys, get rid of the leaves and all of the overhead on the equipment. But they won't mind or b#@*^$ if one or two guys show up and spend 2-4 hours there for the same price. Customers will never see our side, they would rather see you sweat and struggle for that $$$$$$$$$$. Makes them feel better I guess. Your analogy of the backhoe is perfect. They never complain when the other trademen come and charge $45 just for showing up, then $50-$60 hr thereafter. Do you think these guys have $50-$60,000 worth of s#@%& in their toolbelts? I think John Retro said it right that you should perform the work if you can while they are not at home. This way the job gets done, and they can't see how long it takes you. That way you can work by the hour and not feel pressured by time if you have to bid it out.
  7. Mikey,<p>I have not had the problem since I stopped<br>working for senior citizens in &quot;town&quot; many,<br>many years ago.<p>What I have found is that your residential<br>customers (doctors, lawyers, accounts, other<br>business owners) MUST have as much intelligence as myself.<p>Therefore my local residential market is very limited and I perfer to solicit public<br>school districts (athletic fields only),<br>industrial then commercial accounts.
  8. dylan

    dylan Member
    Messages: 276

    And I thought I was the only one dealing with &quot;interesting&quot; clients. Some of my customers complain about the wb on their yard and the price if I'm not there very long. <br>I think I work for the lady that takes the cake for complaining. Every week, the grass is either too long or too short. I can never get it right (for her) it seems. I don't change the height of the cut, but one week I cut it too short and the next it is too long. I just smile and tell her I'll see what I can do. Its been 3 yrs now and I've gotten used to her antics.
  9. JJ Lawn

    JJ Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Larry, <p>I gotta ask..<p>Why do you spend so much time talking &quot;at&quot; us losers (your words), cause according to you we are not nearly as intelligent as you?<p>Why are you afraid to answer direct questions about you and your business? In fact why do you avoid any question directed to you? What are you afraid of? Does not sound like your philosphy of you &quot;don't cower to no one&quot;? Does it make you feel real big to attack others? Or are your ranting all BS?<p>You continue to verbally abuse the other people in this group for what you claim are their short comings, but but you offer no proof to your claims of fame.<p>So whats the story of Lawrence Stone, Larry Flint, and whatever alias you use?<p>jim
  10. DavidATL

    DavidATL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Nathan- <br>I certainly don't have an answer for you but know because you want all of your customers to be totally satisfied and because your heart is in the right place, a situation like this is really hard to swallow. I think what most people forget is that they are not simply paying for your time. They are paying for your knowledge, experience, equipment, insurance, gasoline, drive time and a whole host of miscellaneous expenses. When I go to the Doctor's office, I sure don't think I am being fairly charged either if I am only paying for the Doctor's actual time spent with me. Actually maybe that's why we wait so long in the waiting room! But seriously, when these situations occur, I believe the best you can do is to politely educate your customer on just what all it takes from a business standpoint just to show up.

Share This Page